I have found that the real treasures of Alabama are the people, the landmarks, and the businesses owned and operated in the heart of Dixie. Alabama has a population of 5.03 million people and a good many of them have gone on to do great things. Alabama landmarks are interesting stops and trips to take with family and friends. The 323,891 small businesses that have laid their foundations in Alabama are an asset to the state economy and provide well-paying jobs.
Alabama has been home to many different people who have left their marks on many aspects of life. Jessie Owens was an Oakville, AL native. He competed and won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. ESPN has ranked him as the best athlete of the 20th century. A household name in the 80’s and 90’s, Lionel Richie, a Tuskegee native, has sold over 90 million records throughout his long career. Mae Carol Jemison, former NASA astronaut, became the first black woman to travel to space in the capacity of a mission specialist in 1992 on the space shuttle Endeavor. Mrs. Jemison was born and raised in Decatur, Al.
Alabama is home to many iconic landmarks across the state. The USS Alabama was commissioned in 1942 and served in World War II. This historic battleship was retired in 1962 and towed to Mobile Bay in 1964 to be opened as a museum the following year. The Edmund Pettus Bridge, built in 1940 in Selma, is a steel through-type arch bridge with a central span of 250 feet. It was the site of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965. During this historical event, armed policemen attacked civil rights demonstrators with clubs and tear gas as they were attempting to march to Montgomery. It is a symbol of the bravery of the protestors that sacrificed their personal safety for the pursuit of equality. The Boll Weevil Monument in downtown Enterprise, AL is a prominent landmark and tribute erected by the citizens of Enterprise in 1919 to show their appreciation for an insect, the boll weevil. The boll weevil destroyed much of the cotton crop in Alabama and forced farmers to diversify their crops. Within two years, the area became the United States’ largest producer of peanuts. It’s the world’s only monument to a species that is widely considered a pest. Boll weevil statues around the community have recently enjoyed a bout of popularity on TikTok.
Alabama business investment is at an all-time high, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t already some great businesses here. Conecuh Sausage is a family-owned and operated business that began in 1947 in Evergreen. The company prides itself on making the finest hickory-smoked sausage and I must say that it always ends up being the preferred meat at my family breakfast. Milo’s Hamburgers was founded in 1946 when a man by the name of Milo Carlton opened a burger shop in Birmingham. Milo’s offers burgers, chicken fingers, milkshakes, and their oh-so-popular sweet tea. The fast food chain has been distributing its tea brand to over 19 states including Hawaii and parts of Florida since the 1980’s.
These amazing people, landmarks, and businesses are only a small part of what makes Alabama so special. The history, progress, and potential of Alabama are truly unmatched.